“Creamy” Asparagus and Tomato Linguine

Nov 28th

Creamy is in quotes because technically, “creamy” implies cream. There is no cream to be found here. I adapted this from a Cooking Light recipe – the title included the term “Carbonara”. Typically, pasta carbonara includes eggs,  and that is the secret to this “creamy” sauce. Most definitely quick enough for a week night but tasty (and pretty) enough to entertain with. This meal came together in under 25 minutes – no lie!

Growing up my family would feed four with 1 lb. of pasta (which is one box). Interestingly, the serving size listed on the back of the box is actually 2 oz, which means that a box would serve 8. Most pasta is 200 calories per serving. What I’m saying (albeit confusingly) is that before adding any sauce or additions, we were consuming 400 calories of JUST PASTA. Add meatballs and cheese and you could easily take in 1000 calories. Magazines like Cooking Light and Clean Eating showcase pasta recipes ALL the time, but what they do is serve 4 with just HALF a box of pasta. Whole wheat pasta is fantastic for you when eaten moderately. To feel like you’re eating a huge bowl of pasta, load up the veggies! This pasta calls for a whole pound of asparagus and a pint of cherry tomatoes – I was plenty full with my serving.

Prepping veggies on a weeknight can be annoying (cue the darn butternut squash – I swear I break a sweat every time I peel one of them), but asparagus and cherry tomatoes are pretty much as easy as they come. Buy the veggies and make this soon!

“Creamy” Asparagus and Tomato Linguine

Adapted from Cooking Light

Serves 2-4 (recipe originally written to serve 4, but my husband and I ate the whole batch)

8 oz (half of a box) whole wheat linguine

1/2 tsp. salt (for pasta water)

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces

3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed in garlic press

1 pint cherry tomatoes, whole or halved

1/2 c. grated Parm Romano or Asiago

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 egg

1/4-1/2 c. warm chicken broth*

1/4 c. roughly chopped fresh basil leaves

*If you don’t have chicken broth, you can sub for pasta water

1. Bring pot of water to boil (high heat, lid on). Add 1/2 tsp. salt and pasta. Cook according to directions (lid off), but drain 1 minute before it’s done. Check step 6.

2. Meanwhile, heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl oil to coat pan.

3. Add asparagus and saute 3-4 minutes. Add garlic, saute for 1 minute.

4. Add tomatoes and cook for six minutes, stirring occasionally, or until tomatoes are tender.

5. Combine cheese, salt, pepper and egg in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Heat broth in microwave.

6. As soon as pasta is drained, return to cooking pot set over low heat and toss with egg mixture until evenly combined.

7. Add vegetables and toss to combine. Add broth as needed.

8. Plate, sprinkle with basil, and serve warm.

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